Locale is a collaborative sensory experience where ridesharing passengers configure their ideal in-car environments to suit different social scenarios. Passengers use “sensory toolkits” to configure what they see, hear, smell, and feel by changing lighting, sounds, smell, and other inputs.


Locale began with the realization that the manner in which we use cars today cannot continue if we hope to improve traffic, reduce emissions, and lower the cost of transit.

One of the key factors necessary in improving all of these problems is rider density, or the number of occu- pants per vehicle. Ridesharing has the potential to improve rider density, but presently, many people dislike sharing vehicles for any number of reasons, including the in-car experience they share with other riders.

In order to help crack the rider density problem, I decided to design around one of these reasons: in-car experience.

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How It Works

To participate, passengers climb into a branded BMW X5 and imagine themselves in a shared autonomous vehicle of the future. They choose a social scenario like: work, date, or fight, and then select an in-car mood using sensory materials like essential oils for smell, colored lamps for sight, and fabric swatches for touch.

Finally, the catalog their designs on an ambiance recipe card.


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